Dr. Nancy Jane Batten
Dr. Lorraine Braswell
Dr. Jennifer Whitford
- Project: “An Objective Tool to Aid Diagnosis of PTSD and Evaluate Treatment Outcome”
approved by IRB and underway.
- Almira Vazdarjanova, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology AU,
is principal investigator . Rebecca Naloor, Ph.D. co-investigator AU
- Grant submitted under title “An Objective Tool to Aid Diagnosis of PTSD and Evaluate
treatment Outcome and relapse Probability in Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD)”
Will be submitted in November for funding and for 4 years.
Catherine L. Davis, Ph.D.
- Studies focus on exercise effects on child health and achievement. The Effect of Quality Rated Status on Children’s School Readiness
The purpose of this pilot study is to investigate whether Quality Rated status (stars
awarded; portfolio submitted) and/or the points awarded for center-reported information
in the Quality Rated Portfolio for Standard #2, Nutrition and Physical Activity Assessment
and Improvement Plan, predict child BMI (included in the 4-point screening) and/or
school readiness, assessed by the Ages & Stages Questionnaire in children 3-5 years
old in child care centers in the Georgia Child Care Resource and Referral Regions
Three and Five (Central and Southeast regions of Georgia).
- Exercise & Overweight Children’s Cognition (SMART)
A randomized clinical trial of an after-school exercise program, vs. one that does
not include exercise, will test effects on executive function and brain function in
overweight 8-11 year olds at the Georgia Prevention Institute. This is based on a
prior trial that showed dose-response effects of an exercise program on executive
function in overweight children. Data on adiposity, fitness, and cardiovascular risk
are being collected along with psychological factors. The study is funded by NIH from
- Supplement-Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and arteriosclerotic risk
An additional project measures liver fat, fibrosis, and arterial stiffness noninvasively
and includes blood assays for insulin resistance, adiponectin, lipid profile, and
inflammation to test the effects of exercise on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and
arteriosclerotic risk in overweight children enrolled in the SMART study. The study
is funded by NIH from 2010-2014.
- Diversity supplement-osteocalcin
Dr. Norman Pollock, nutritionist at the GPI will extend the study to exercise effects
on osteocalcin, a hormone produced by bone which influences metabolism and diabetes
risk, in overweight children enrolled in the SMART study. The study is funded by NIH
- Supplement-Diffusion tensor imaging
An additional grant will support DTI and resting MRI studies in the last group of
50 children enrolled in the SMART study (baseline summer 2011, posttest Spring 2012)
to assess possible changes in brain connectivity and myelination that may result from
exercise, that may be responsible for cognitive benefits. It will also assess structural
changes in the brain. Funded by NIH 2010-2011 (with anticipated carryover into 2012).
- Executive function in children with attention deficit disorder
A pilot study to assess relations of fatness and fitness to cognitive function, brain
function (fMRI), classroom behavior, and achievement in children on medication for
ADHD. If fatness and poor fitness predict poorer function in these children, there
is potential for exercise as an adjunct treatment to improve functioning.
The study is funded by the Child Health Discovery Institute 2010-2012.
Bernard Davidson, Ph.D.
- Family Solutions Program
Presently this project involves the follow up analyses of two counties (representing
diversity in socio-economic, racial, and ethnic composition) on the effectiveness
of a multiple family group intervention in reducing juvenile delinquent acts. In addition,
family, school, and social variables associated with delinquency and positive response
to program intervention for this population is being examined.
Ralph Gillies, Ph.D.
- Opportunities to conduct health psychology research in the AU Health’s Family Medicine
Center which has +10,000 health visits annually and a diverse patient population.
- Opportunities to conduct research (e.g., survey, intervention) related to teaching
behavioral medicine, health psychology, psychosocial aspects of health to medical
students, residents, faculty.
Amy House, Ph.D.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group treatment for recovery from substance abuse
– examining psychological flexibility as a mediator of change. Currently collecting
- Other research being developed: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a Stage
2 DBT treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. Examining psychological flexibility
and mindfulness processes as mediators of change in DBT skills group participants.
Christian Lemmon, Ph.D.
- I have a data base of more than 1000 patients who have been evaluated over the years
within the Eating Disorders Program that includes the results of extensive psychological
testing in the form of numerous tests and a lengthy questionnaire. The data set also
includes more than 300 bariatric surgery patients. There are many research questions
that can be studied with this data. The questionnaire includes patient demographic
information, and information about the patients’ dieting and weight histories, specific
eating disorder symptoms and other maladaptive eating behaviors, physical activity
patterns, sleep patterns, medical history, psychiatric history, substance use history,
family medical and psychiatric histories, etc. Psychological tests include several
eating disorder and body image tests, the BDI, and several social anxiety tests. In
one study that made use of this data set, we examined “Factors Related to Chewing
and Spitting in Eating Disorder Patients.”
Alex Mabe, Ph.D.
- Georgia's Imperative in Mental Health Service Development: Immersing Practitioners
in the Recovery Model.
Objective: Examine the effectiveness of the Project GREAT recovery curriculum in
fostering recovery knowledge and attitudes among East Central Georgia Regional Hospital
Michael Rollock, Ph.D.
- Wellbeing psychiatric residents and the impact of psychoeducational interventions
based on positive psychology principles.
- LGBTQ ResearchTeam
Description: Project availability varies but current projects include planning and implementation
of studies related to: 1) LGBTQ health disparities, including the first community
health needs assessment in our region of 400+ individuals and 2) another examining
behavioral health screenings of patients treated at the Equality Clinic of Augusta,
our student run, free clinic for LGBTQ individuals. Several additional projects related
to policies for transgender patients in inpatient psychiatric settings, the relationship
between gender transitioning and sexual identity, and emotion regulation and suicidalityare
also planned. In additional to Dr. Stepleman, Drs. Chris Drescher, Tracy Casanova,
and Jessica Britt also provide mentorship on the LGBTQ projects.
Holly Tabernik, Ph.D.
- Dr. Tabernik’s research interests are primarily related to forensic evaluations, treatment
in inpatient settings, and Severe and Persistent Mental Illness. Specific interests
and areas of past research include: malingering, settled insanity, competency restoration,
DBT adapted to an inpatient setting, suicide prevention in an inpatient setting, and
the psychometrics of Forensic Assessment Measures.
Michael J. Vitacco, Ph.D., ABPP
- Research has focused on risk factors for individuals adjudicated not guilty by reason
of insanity and returned to the community for treatment and monitoring. This research
has involved working with individual states and evaluating large samples of justice-involved
individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. Dr. Vitacco has also been
involved in research improving classification of malingering. He has also been active
conducting research on the use of social media as collateral data in forensic evaluations.
Finally, Dr, Vitacco continues to conduct programmatic research in psychopathy and
external correlates of the classification.
Lindsey West, Ph.D.
- West’s research has focused primarily on enhancing the mental health and quality of
life of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Previous studies have included examining
the impact of racism-related stress on anxious and depressive symptoms in samples
of individuals who racially identify as Black, clinical considerations and adaptations
of acceptance-based behavioral therapies among diverse samples, coping with stress
in underserved samples, and examining what works and does not work, therapeutically,
for individuals from diverse populations.